House of blues

  • Article by: KIM YEAGER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 21, 2009 - 12:50 PM

Bloomington blogger Erin Olson operates 10 blogs that link consumers with places to purchase home decor and other products, sorted mostly by hue.


Erin Olson loves her white couch that shows off her continually changing accessories. Her favorite piece is the blue desk chair with zebra-print seat she re-did herself.

Photo: Joel Koyama, Star Tribune

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Q Your personal blog,, pays homage to all things blue. What's it about?

A It's inspirational, with photos of beautiful rooms. It just makes you feel happy. You go on it and get ideas. A happy place I call it. Eye candy.

Q How did you parlay that into a job?

A A few years after graduation I moved to Dresden, Germany. I love to shop. But when I was there I couldn't shop because I didn't have any money and I didn't want to go to the stores if I couldn't buy anything. So I was doing all this Web work, looking around at stores back in America and then posting them on my blog saying, "Look at this -- it's so cute." ... It was just needing to share stuff I couldn't buy!

Q When did you know you had something?

A I check statistics. I noticed that a lot of people were Googling brown and blue bedding. I thought, maybe I should do a sort just for brown and blue bedding, if that's what people want.

Q Which is most popular?

A Black and white, and brown and blue is next. So right now I do four items a day on black and white and three a day on brown and blue and five a day on Everything Turquoise. Bedding Envy is getting more and more popular; I do that twice a day, every day. The rest of them are all one. The pink and brown? I'm not a big fan, but that's what people wanted.

Q How does your job work?

A I joined an affiliate company first. Through there I applied to different programs; from them you get codes and special links to put on your site. Those have codes in them to identify you. I make money if someone buys something. And it puts in a cookie; if people come back during a certain time period, I get a commission for that. So don't clear out your cookies!

Q Are you still working 14-hour days?

A Now it's eight to 10. Every day I post for the next day. I do them all the night before and have them scheduled for 9:40 a.m. Before [my software] let me publish in advance, I was just doing it spur-of-the-moment. Now I can do whatever I want and get all my work done before midnight!

Q So do you work in your pajamas?

A Pretty much every day.

Q Back to turquoise. Do you ever get tired of it?

A I have liked it since I was probably 11 years old. Not just liked, loved. Someone said that if you like a color more than a year that you're not going to get sick of it. It's true.

Q What happened when you were 11?

A The Florida Marlins; I think it's baseball. The team was new; I saw their cap. I just thought, wow, that color.

Q Any other blues you fancy? A runner-up?

A Right now, I'd say it's cobalt blue. And I really like that with turquoise!

Q What design blogs inspire you?

A Decorology, Delikatisssen, Desire to Inspire. I love Apartment Therapy. They have such great ideas. I have 200 blogs in my RS reader, so it's hard to pick. Alkemie is another. She and I have gotten to be pretty good e-mail friends.

Q What about dead-tree subscriptions?

A I really love House Beautiful. They really always have such pretty pictures. And Coastal Living, obviously. All that blue! I also get Elle Decor, Metropolitan Home. Not Country Living; I just look at their website. But I'm going to have to get it. I just only recently started to notice that it's more modern than I had given it credit to be.

Q What do you think the Web is good for, design-wise?

A For inspiration! When I was hanging up my pictures, I could just Google "picture collage" and then get 100 pictures of how other people did it. It's all just a click away to see how other people do things. I just think the Internet is good to see how normal people decorate.

Q Do you have hobbies?

A Photography. I love movies. I could watch 10 a day and never get bored. I'm usually attracted to independents. I haven't seen a movie in the theaters in a long time. I don't even have a TV. I do everything over the Internet.

Q So your iMac monitor must be bodacious.

A It's 24 inches. I wanted it big enough so I can use it for a TV.

Q What's your decorating philosophy?

A Feminine, definitely. I love florals, pinks, and obviously, blues. I love a white, neutral background, too, because I feel the colors pop more. And I like modern furnishings: Ikea, Crate & Barrel. I love Room & Board. I wish I could afford it more!

Q Which turquoise piece is your favorite?

A My desk chair with a zebra seat that I re-did myself.

Q And which piece do you love most, regardless of color?

A My couch! I love it because it's white. I love to change things around a lot. I have way more pillows and throws and stuff than you see. Same with my bedroom. I have 10 different duvet covers, and I like to change them around.

Q It seems fair to say you believe that color is powerful.

A Yes! I love to wear it. I love it around me. It makes me happy. It really, really does!

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  • Erin Olson

    Tuesday July 21, 2009

    Age: 28 (a Libra).

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